New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Nate Solder was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2014

Nate Solder during Super Bowl 49. (Photo By: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)

Nate Solder during Super Bowl 49.
(Photo By: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)

Before the 2014 NFL off-season workouts began, Nate Solder went through a standard physical that turned out to be a life saver.

During the physical he mentioned he felt something around his testicle, which lead the Pats medical staff to order an ultrasound and was then diagnosed with testicular cancer.

He sat down and told ESPN’s Mike Reiss about his story from last year, wanting to spread the awareness of testicular cancer. April is testicular cancer awareness month.

“I knew nothing about it. It was a complete surprise,” said Solder. “You Google something like that and it kind of scares you, so I was like, ‘I’m not going to freak out about this.’ Had I not had a routine physical, I probably wouldn’t have checked it, saying, ‘Oh, it’s just in my head, I’m going to be fine.”

Thankfully, he had that physical and they caught it in time. The doctors said it was in one testicle and had not spread and three days later, Solder underwent surgery to have the testicle removed. Solder missed only two weeks of off-season workouts and has returned to Massachusetts General Hospital every three months for a checkup.

He went on in 2014 to get married, to protect Tom Brady’s blindside, score a touchdown in the AFC Championship Game, and win a Super Bowl.

He wants everybody to be aware of how important early detection is and to get checked out, so he decided to share his story.

“I was completely healthy, I’m a professional athlete. It can happen to anybody,” he said. “Make sure you get yourself checked out, especially young men, because that’s who it’s really targeted toward.”

“The biggest thing is letting people know and giving them the information. And maybe giving people some courage that if they are in a situation like I was, maybe they would go and say something, and that could make a difference,” he said.

“It’s more common than people realize. A lot of people are either afraid to do it, or they don’t think it’s important enough to get it checked. It’s a simple check. Six months, a year, and then it starts spreading and then you start to feel symptoms and it’s a more serious situation. So that’s a big thing; you can save lives with early detection.”

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